It shouldn’t take a gender discrimination employment lawyer to tell you it is a bad idea to make fun of a femal employee’s butt. Nonetheless, a former AutoZone, Inc. employee, Marcela Fuentes, won $860,000 in a sexual harassment suit against the company after male employees spread sexual rumors about Fuentes and repeatedly harassed her about the size of her behind. Baby got back jokes are not only offensive, but can be the start of a good gender discrimination lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, Fuentes reported that the assistant store manager, Melvin Garcia, and one of the parts sales managers, Gonzalo Carrillo, spread rumors that she had an STD and that she was sleeping with another co-worker. Garcia and Carrillo also told Fuentes she would make better money as a stripper or bikini model than as a cashier. According to Fuentes, Garcia physically turned her around to display her buttocks to customers in order to sell merchandise.
After putting up with the guys’ behavior for some time, Fuentes sued AutoZone, Garcia and Carrillo for sexual harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and slander. Within the mostly male car service industry, the types of jokes and behavior displayed by Garcia and Carrillo might be labeled as “boys being boys,” but Fuentes’ big win makes it clear that excuse will not fly.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which protects against sexual harassment in the workplace, makes it an employer’s responsibility to ensure that employees know that sexual harassment will not be tolerated under any circumstance. Employers should provide meaningful training aimed at identifying and preventing harassing behavior, and inform employees of their rights. The large verdict awarded in this case goes to show that “boys will be boys” is not a valid excuse when sexual harassment is concerned, andan employer who fails to guard against sexual harassment could end up paying a hefty price.
If you feel that you are being sexually harassed or are working in a sexually charged or hostile working environment, you should not wait to call the right attorney at 866-797-6040 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. At Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, you will meet with a sexual harassment lawyer/hostile work environment attorney to find out what your legal rights are and the best way to protect them. Sexual harrassment is a former of gender discrimination, and employers should be held accountable if they discriminate against female workers in any fashion – but particularly for sexual harrassment.
The materials available at this gender discrimination and employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. It is best contact an Ohio sexual harassment attorney/hostile work environment lawyer to obtain advice with respect to sexual harassment/hostile work environment questions or any particular employment law issue. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm or any individual attorney.